Cato Policy Analysis No. 261 October 22, 1996

Policy Analysis

Supply Tax Cuts and the Truth About
the Reagan Economic Record

by William A. Niskanen and Stephen Moore

William A. Niskanen is chairman and Stephen Moore is director of fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Executive Summary

Bob Dole's proposal for a 15 percent income tax cut has reignited the long-standing debate about the economic impact of Reaganomics in the 1980s. This study assesses the Reagan supply-side policies by comparing the nation's economic performance in the Reagan years (1981-89) with its performance in the immediately preceding Ford-Carter years (1974-81) and in the Bush-Clinton years that followed (1989-95).

On 8 of the 10 key economic variables examined, the American economy performed better during the Reagan years than during the pre- and post-Reagan years.

This study also exposes 12 fables of Reaganomics, such as that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, the Reagan tax cuts caused the deficit to explode, and Bill Clinton's economic record has been better than Reagan's.

Full Text of Policy Analysis No. 261 (HTML)

1996 The Cato Institute
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